Author shortlisted for the Man Booker prize in 2013 was an advocate of what he saw as Pakistan’s ancient traditions of pluralism and tolerance
Lahore: Pakistani author Intizar Hussain, widely recognised as one of the greatest Urdu writers in history, has died aged 92 following a period of illness, according to his doctor.
The prolific author, known for his novels, short stories, columns and poetry, belatedly saw worldwide recognition when he was shortlisted for the Man Booker international prize in 2013 and awarded France’s highly prestigious Ordre des Arts et des Lettres a year later.
Born on 7 December 1923 in India, he migrated to the newly formed Pakistan in 1947 – an experience he wrote about 50 years later in his short story The First Morning.
Hussain’s acclaimed novel Basti, published in 1979 and later translated into English, also addressed the history of Pakistan and the subcontinent.
Hussain, a regular literary columnist for Pakistan’s leading English-language daily Dawn, in later years became known as a voice of moderation and advocate of what he saw as the subcontinent’s ancient traditions of pluralism and tolerance.
Fellow Urdu writer Munnu Bhai said: “Intizar Hussain was a man of letters. His death has left a huge gap in the literary circle of the subcontinent that would be felt of the centuries to come.”
Hussain’s wife, Aliya Begum, died in 2004. The couple had no children.